At a Baylor University men's basketball game in Waco on Saturday, word began to spread in the stands that the announcement of a new university president was imminent.
"I never pressed anybody about it," said Gerald Haddock, a prominent Fort Worth businessman, Baylor alumnus and major financial benefactor, who was at the game. "I thought it would be somebody everybody knew and it wouldn't be a surprise."
Haddock was wrong. Monday's announcement of Kenneth Starr as Baylor's 14th president inspired a wide divergence of opinion among the school's faithful, with many critical of the appointment. But there was general agreement on one point: The choice of the one-time special prosecutor who became President Bill Clinton's legal nemesis was a surprise.
"When this came out, it caught me off guard," Haddock said. "They did a good job of keeping it under wraps."
Starr, 63, who was formally introduced Tuesday at a news conference in Waco, is Baylor's third president in five years, succeeding John Lilley, who was fired by Baylor regents two years ago. Starr will start at the university June 1.
Starr told more than 400 people who packed his news conference that as a fifth-generation Texan "it's good to be coming home." He said he embraces Baylor's mission, faculty governance and commitment to helping others.
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